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Best Practices for Conversion Tracking Using Google Tag Manager (GTM)

This article will cover:

What Is Google Tag Manager?

Google Tag Manager, or GTM, is a tool that is used to manage multiple tags or pixels on a web page. GTM enables users to place a single tag on a webpage and all other tags within GTM.  The platform then enables certain conditions and logic to be configured to determine when certain tags should load. 

GTM can be an added value for the following reasons:

  • For those that have multiple tags and need a simple way to manage when they load (or fire).
  • It can simplify a website by only having one tag on the page. 
  • If conditional logic is deployed, it can reduce the number of pixels that load on a page, therefore increasing conversion rates for users that leave the page suddenly.
  • Enables non-technical users to deploy new tags without needing to make code changes to the website.

What Are The Challenges Of Working With Google Tag Manager?

Although GTM offers a one-stop-shop for tag management, it also means that your pixel or tag is at the discretion of Google's logic to determine whether or not your domain is "good" or "bad". 

Specifically, within the context of CAKE, let's review how the iFrame pixel functions within GTM.

When a conversion occurs, GTM will load the CAKE iFrame pixel and CAKE will subsequently write any 3rd party pixels onto the page that may exist on the Campaign for your Affiliate. 

Although your pixel and associated cookie domain are clean, your Affiliate's Pixel may be listed on 3rd party compliance website, such as Spamhaus.

In this scenario, your pixel can be flagged by malware, even though your domain is not currently or has ever been listed for any malware reasons.

Google Tag Manager Solutions

Solution 1: Server to Server Tracking

CAKE's best practice is to leverage our server to server tracking capabilities via the Postback URL.

Server to Server tracking does not rely on cookies and is implemented through your advertisers server. This relieves the potential for Google flagging your domain, or your affiliate's domain as malware.

Solution 2: Place Your Pixel Directly On The Confirmation Page

Instead of placing your pixel within GTM, you can attempt to place your pixel directly on the confirmation page once the user has converted. 

Although this method still relies on cookies, which are becoming less reliable, it does remove your pixel from the Google ecosystem, and therefore potentially being marked as malware.

Solution 3: Leverage The CAKE GTM Community Template

If neither of the above solutions are an option, Google recommends leveraging a Community Template for adding new pixels.  

The Community Template does not reduce the risk of malware if the pixel on the Campaign has been flagged. Instead, it reduces the likelihood of your advertiser formatting the CAKE pixel incorrectly.

To leverage the CAKE Community Template within GTM, follow these steps:

  1. Click on Tags
  2. Click New
  3. Click Tag Configuration
  4. Click Discover more tag types in the Community Template Gallery
  5. Click the magnifying glass icon to begin a search
  6. Search CAKE
  7. Click on CAKE by cake-labs
  8. Click Add to Workspace
  9. Insert the CAKE Cookie Domain URL
  10. Insert the CAKE Offer ID
  11. Insert the CAKE Event ID
  12. Click Save


If my domain is clean, and is flagged for malware, how can I troubleshoot?

    We would recommend analyzing which campaigns are associated to the pixel that is placed in GTM. From there, look to see which Campaigns have a 3rd party pixel placed. Then, use a tool like MXToolBox to investigate the 3rd party pixel domain.  These tools can inform you if the domain has been flagged.

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